A hospice nurse is the most relied on person at any hospice hospice care provider or palliative care unit. These nurses undergo training which is very similar to what the normal nurses do but work in a closer position with the physician, the patient and the family because a lot depends on their care to keep the patients comfortable. A nurse who takes on hospice duty has to be compassionate humanitarian as well as mentally strong. Mental strength is needed because the nurse is bound to feel strongly about the patient as she has been caring for them in a very personalized way. When the patient passes away the nurse also feels extremely sad. Such bonds develop with almost every patient they care for, and if they are not mentally strong they will not be able to cope with the stress of the job.
This job is considered to be one of the most sensitive ones where the health care industry is concerned. It is known from day one that no matter how much you care and take care of the patient they are not going to survive, so the care is about relieving them from pain, fear and discomfort but not for curing them. It is the nurse who is instrumental in making the last days of the patient as comfortable as possible.
The nurse has to be extremely patient and caring and ensure that they never lose their cool with the patient. Most of the hospice patients are those who have end stage cancer, though many also have diseases like HIV and AIDS, severe lung diseases and heart diseases. Painkillers are to be administered skillfully according to the medical procedures. The nurse also has to deal with the grief of the family and often visit them after the patient has passed away to help them to cope with their grief.